States and the federal government regulate the trucking industry. The Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation sets regulations to be followed by all trucking companies and drivers nationwide. One
major cause of truck accidents is driver fatigue; the FMCSA attempted to decrease the amount of time drivers can drive by issuing new Hours of
Service rules in 2005. Some rules remained the same and some changed. Below are the rules as issued in October 2005 that apply to property-carrying
drivers (not passenger-carrying carriers/drivers).
» Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
» Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours
» Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
» Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off
» Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers using a sleeper berth must take 10 hours off duty, but may split sleeper-berth time into
two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours. CMV drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the
sleeper berth, plus 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
The new short-haul provisions include:
» Drivers of property-carrying CMVs which do not require a Commercial Driver's License for operation and who operate within a
150 air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location:
• May drive a maximum of 11 hours after coming on duty following 10
or more consecutive hours off duty.
• Are not required to keep records-of-duty status (RODS).
• May not drive after the 14th hour after coming on duty 5 days a week
or after the 16th hour after coming on duty 2 days a week.
» Employer must maintain and retain accurate time records for a period of 6 months showing the time the duty period began, ended,
and total hours on duty each day in place of RODS.
Drug and alcohol testing are also required for truck drivers as pre-employment screening, random screening, and following a fatal accident. The
FMCSA's alcohol and drug testing rules apply to people and employers who operate commercial motor vehicles in commerce in any state. If you or a
loved one were injured in a tractor trailer collision, negligence on the part of the driver and/or trucking company may have played a role in your
accident. Contact Tina Parker today at the Tina M. Parker, P.C. Law Group for a free case consultation. Call 256.766.0460 or fill out our online form.